Project Management


TOPOMOD will be coordinated by “Roma TRE”, managed by a Supervisory Board, evaluated by an enlarged Supervisory Board, and 4 working groups responsible for the direct organization of the different activities (WPs) of the network (Figure 1). The 8 network partners will preliminary form a consortium ruled by the standard EC consortium agreement. This will define the management/financial structure of the network and  the approach to be taken regarding any intellectual property that may arise from the research projects.

Coordination team. it is based in Roma TRE and represents the executive authority of the network. It is composed by a) C. Faccenna in his role of coordinator, who has responsibility for the overall project objectives achievements, assisted by, b) a secretary (to be hired by the ITN costs category G), c) EU project officers of Roma TRE (Dr. A. Frezza). Coordination team duties are:

– Relation with EC (submitting documents, communication of the partners, addition of beneficiaries);

– Coordination of the consortium, which includes: a)  supervision (coordination of the SB, organization of assessments by external experts, validation of the project reports and schedules of the whole project); b) administration  (contracts’ management: consortium agreement for network teams and contracts for young scientists; financial management: EC contribution sharing, financial network-related funding and expenses); c) solution of technical, administrative, contractual issues/conflicts between  partners, favouring networking between administrative staff from the TOPOMOD partners.

The Supervisory Board is the decision making authority. It is chaired by the network coordinator and composed by a) the PIs in charge of the 8 partner academic institutions, b) a delegate of each industrial partner, c) a delegate of the TOPOMOD fellows (renewed every year after elections), d) the EU project officer of Roma TRE. The active participation of industrial partners in the SB ensures the organization of a real intersectorial training giving to the young scientists the widest possible employment prospective. The SB will decide by qualified majority all matters dealing with strategic operations of the project. The SB will first meet at the kickoff meeting to confirm the overall plan of the project and specify organization details. Afterward, it will meet twice each year (fall, during the TOPOMOD workshop, and spring) and maintain regular communications in between (emails, video or ephone conferences). The duty of the SB consists in:

– supervising the hiring procedure, ensuring equal opportunities and gender balance;

– determining the evaluation procedures and, on the basis of related results, proposing necessary changes of the network structure/plans.

– controlling and validation of scientific and financial reports;

– coordinating and controlling the all the network activities sub-organized in scientific and implementationWPs.

The enlarged Supervisory Board is composed by the SB and, in the role of leaders, by 3 external European scientists (S. Lallemand, Univ. Montpellier France; H.P. Bunge, Univ. Munich Germany, T.B. Andersen, Univ. Oslo Norway). It is in charge for:

– review the scientific, training, and administrative activity yearly realized by TOPOMOD in compliance with the relevant contractual obligations. The assessment will be realized on the base of electronic annual reports compiled by the all the network members on each mentioned topic.

– solve conflict management.

The eSB will meet annually, just after the conclusion of the TOPOMOD workshop. This schedule will enable the external experts to attend also the scientific part of the meeting. At the occurrence, special sessions requested by the SB can be organized using videoconferencing.

The 6 working groups (see section B1.3 for details) will be responsible for the direct management of the different scientific (WP1, WP2) and implementation (WP3, WP4, WP5, WP6) activities of the network :

WP1 (coordinators: S. Willett, ETH-Zurich and O. Oncken, GFZ) & WP2: “Shaping the Earth’s surface: the deep contribution” (coordinators: M. Fernandez, ICTJA-CSIC and D. Sokoutis, Amsterdam). The leaders will a) coordinate the scientific work performed in their WP; b) validate and report to the SB the technical status of the work performed in the WP; c) ensure the scientific consistency of approaches taken in the course of the project reports to the SB for cost and administrative aspects.

WP3: “Scientific training (lead by J.P. Burg, ETH-Zurich & F. Storti, Parma). Organization of the hiring procedure, ensuring equal opportunities and gender balance. Verification that the ESRs/ERs have the opportunity to develop their career development plan/research in good conditions balancing scientific and technological training (with WP4 and WP5) and ensuring the best exploitation of complementarities/synergies between network partners. Evaluation of the evolution of the fellows’ scientific projects and career development plans (with WP4). Coordination and organization of training programs maximizing the benefits of the partnership. Favoring ESRs and ERs linkages.

WP4: “Career and Personal Development (lead by S. Cloething, Amsterdam & N. Hovius, Cambridge).Verification that the fellows develop at the best their career development plan (with WP3 and WP5). Coordination and organization of career and personal development courses, locally and in the frame of the network. Enhancing fruitful communication and exchanges between teams and between senior and young researchers, also after the end of the project.

WP5: “Relations with Industry (lead by J.P. Brun, Rennes I & S. Corrado, Roma TRE). Links with the industrial partners organizing courses, seminars, visits and secondments. Finding rooms for involvement of industrial partners in the research projects (link with WP3). Enhancing communication/exchanges between early researchers and enterprises also after the end of the project.

WP6: “Communications (lead by J. van Hunen, Durham & M. Rosenau, GFZ). Establishing active and continuous communication among the network participants and ensuring an effective dissemination and publicity of the TOPOMOD hiring (in coordination with WP1, WP2,WP3), scientific and training activities (in coordination withal the WPs; see section B3.2.3).

ESRs and ERs will have one elected delegate in the SB and their active involvement to the implementation WPs will be strongly enhanced. Moreover, fellows’ grouping will be favoured through e-networing and the organization of a restricted session (open only to ESRs/ERs ) during the annual workshop. In that occasion, fellows will be able to exchange views on the network and to formulate suggestions to be submitted to the SB.

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